Originally Posted by gabilo
My experiances working (quality control) and living in china for a number of years, I would be very reluctant buying an engine for my boat from a Chinese manufacturer.
From my own limited personal experience as a North American consumer, I have to agree with the above. I currently own a Chinese-made inverter-generator and a centrifugal pump. I bought them both as experiments and because they were in a clearance at around 70% or more off their already low retail prices, so I had little to lose if they fail. I've made them work now... but from inspecting them I have no confidence that they are built with the same quality of materials or manufacture as the Japanese products they attempt to emulate.
My unschooled opinion is that China is still growing as a manufacturer, and their current
niche (re engines) is mainly to produce products for markets who choose price over longevity. Think 3rd world.... and Walmarts.
The very top requirements for powering a world-cruising yacht are reliability
and longevity, which would in my mind eliminate Chinese marine
engines from consideration.
Would I experiment
with Chinese engines and generators? Hell yeah, and that's what I'm doing, whenever I can get such things at an absurdly low cost. It's a hobby.But I wouldn't be doing this if I was equipping to do long-distance cruising.
There may well be a Chinese manufacturer who produces a hidden gem. Perhaps a Chinese manufacturer reading this might realize that if they could produce a top-quality reliable Yanmar
or Beta equivalent, they could do really well.
My experience with the overall quality is not as good. Consumer tools (eg power tools, wrenches etc) are acceptable, but not to the standards or level of finish we used to get from US, European or Japanese manufacturers.
... well what isn't made in China now? I think it's proven that Chinese-made electronic goods can be top quality, but not all products get made to Apple-grade standards. I have 30-year old Japanese stereo components that still work; I have some Chinese-made Sony stuff that crapped out in 5 years. I guess this fits consumer expectations if they like the low price and are going to buy again in 5 years anyways.
So... with accessories I think you still have to be wary, and to select carefully.